Four years after he dumped the party and formed the People for Democratic Change (PDC), where he battled unsuccessfully to return to the Senate, former Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Chimaraoke Nnamani, Thursday formally returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and declared his readiness to contest for the Enugu-East senatorial seat in the 2015 election.
The party’s chairman in Agbani ward, Nkanu West Local Government Area, Monday Ngene, who announced the former governor’s return to the party when he led leaders and stakeholders of the PDP in the area to formally welcome Nnamani to the party said the revalidation of his membership was sequel to the party’s membership registration which took place between August 2013 and January.
He said within the period, about 3291 old and new members were registered in Agbani ward, explaining, that precisely on January 4, 2014, the former governor was duly registered at the ward office and issued with membership card number 0276943, duly signed by the party’s National Chairman, National Secretary, National Organising Secretary, ward chairman and ward secretary.
He gave his ward number as 3259. Ngene said Nnamani’s return to the party was received with great joy by all members in the ward and the entire Enugu State as his decision to return to his base was regarded as a great boost to the party not only in Enugu East senatorial zone but to the entire state which he successfully governed for eight years and produced his successor and all the state and National Assembly members.
He, however, noted that following the registration of the former governor, he had received serious bashings from some top government functionaries who queried him for the action, adding that when it became clear that he remained undaunted, the chairman of the party in Nkanu west was pressurised to announce his suspension for anti-party activities.
“We were told at the meeting that the offence we committed was that we visited Senator Chimaroke Nnamani’s house. We regard this action as illegal and unacceptable because as far as we are concerned, our visit to Nnamani after he had duly registered as a bonafide member our party did not in any way amount to anti-party activity.
“Therefore the so-called suspension purportedly slammed against me and two other ward chairmen is a nullity and should be disregarded by party members as we have continued to function in our capacity as Ward Chairmen,” he said.
Responding, the former governor said he was filled with joy to be accorded such privilege and honour by the party, noting that he would not disappoint the people in view of the high expectations Nkanu people have in the coming political dispensation.
“Clearly there are expectations of me, as former governor of the state, expectations of me as a senator but more importantly expectations of me as an Nkanu man and that is why I am here today. I come from a great nation a Clan Nation State, the Nkanus. And when you talk about Nkanu’s greatness, somewhere, I don’t know, maybe in bold prints, maybe in mild low prints, maybe in the first page, maybe in the last page, but when you talk about the greatest of Nkanu, as far as 2014 is concerned Chimaroke Nnamani will be somewhere on that list.
“So it is indeed expected that such a day like this will come that Chimaroke Nnamani will be here. All I can do is to pay respect to my ancestors, to pay respect to our fathers, our mothers, our women and children and to say that indeed Nkanu is great. Nkanu, we do not lack people, we have men and women of honour. A great nation, a great people that were never conquered.
“When I came back from America, Nkanus were busy acting as political chaperons, acting as political hustlers, looking for political assistanceship, none dreamt of being governor, none dreamt of being Excellency, until I came and by the grace of God I became governor of Enugu state; by the grace of God I became senator, and I served my people.
“It is not for me to judge, it is for history to judge; to judge between the Nkanu I met when I came back in 1996, 97, 98 and the Nkanu of 2014. It is left for them to judge the vibrancy, the dynamism, the confidence, the dignity of the Nkanu man. It is left for people to judge. Today, Nkanus have returned; some have returned as political chaperons, some have returned as political attendants, some have returned as political introducers and I am not surprised; partly poverty driven but Chimaroke is not one of them.
“As I answered the clarion call in 1996/99, I thank God that a day like this has come and you can count me. You can stand and count me as an Nkanu man; proud and tall, unconquered, undefeated and un-intimidated,” he noted.